As you might expect, winning on back-to-back nights was tough, but a day after sweeping No. 14 USC, No. 4 Stanford came back from being down 2-1 Thursday to beat UCLA in five, 15-13 in the fifth.
The other two ranked teams in action won, as league leaders No. 9 BYU swept San Francisco and No. 11 San Diego swept Santa Clara in the West Coast Conference.
Along the way, quite a few mid-major tournaments got under way, and with them seasons ended. Among the early round upsets, Eastern Illinois knocked off SIUE in the Ohio Valley and Troy ousted South Alabama in the Sun Belt.
The results follow but first a look at Friday’s schedule, which has a mix of regular-season matches and more tournaments.
The Pac-12 race is over since Stanford clinched the title on Wednesday, but the battle for not only second but RPI rankings and NCAA Tournament seedings looms large. USC tries to bounce back at Cal, Washington State, a team fighting for its NCAA life, goes to No. 20 Oregon, No. 17 Utah is home for Arizona State, No. 10 Washington goes to Oregon State and Colorado entertains Arizona.
Three of the Big Ten’s ranked teams play Friday. No. 5 Nebraska, a half game back of idle Penn State at the top of the league, goes to Ohio State, No. 7 Minnesota— two games back in the loss columns— is at Northwestern and No. 12 Wisconsin plays at Illinois. Iowa goes to Maryland.
In the SEC, No. 3 Florida is idle, but No. 4 Kentucky, tied in the loss column but two wins back, plays host to Georgia. Missouri goes to Mississippi State and Ole Miss is at Tennessee.
In the only Big 12 match, No. 16 Kansas plays at Texas Tech.
The entire ACC plays Friday, including the three teams tied at the top.
That includes a battle between two of them when NC State goes to Louisville. Pittsburgh plays at Clemson. Also, North Carolina goes to Notre Dame, Miami is at Virginia, Duke plays at Boston College, Florida State goes to Virginia Tech and Wake Forest is at Syracuse.
No. 13 Creighton has a Big East match at Villanova and can win the regular season outright with a victory.
No. 21 Wichita State, which has already won the American Athletic, plays at Tulsa.
No. 22 Cal Poly clinched the Big West and has a league match at UC Riverside.
No. 25 Missouri State has a Missouri Valley regular-season match at Valparaiso.
For a complete look at Friday’s action with start times and video links, go to the daily VolleyballMag.com TV and video streaming listings with easy click-to-watch links.
Stanford nips UCLA: The Cardinal won 25-19, 23-25, 30-25, 25-21, 15-13 to improve to 24-3, 17-1 in the Pac-12 and to 10-0 at home. UCLA dropped to 16-10, 9-8 and fell to eighth place in the league. Kathryn Plummer had a career-high 28 kills — including Stanford’s last two points in the fifth — hit .323, had an ace, four blocks and five digs. Merete Lutz had 21 kills, hit .476 and had four blocks and a dig. Meghan McClure had eight kills and 17 digs. Setter Jenna Gray had 63 assists, 12 digs and also seven blocks. And sophomore libero Morgan Hentz had 24 digs to get past 1,000 in her short career.
Reily Buechler and Madeleine Gates had 22 kills each for UCLA. Buechler had an ace, a block and 13 digs, while Gates hit 4.62 to go with two block and three digs. Jenny Mosser had 19 kills.
BYU, USD win in WCC: BYU beat San Francisco 25-12, 25-17, 25-12 and stands 26-2, 15-1. Veronica Jones-Perry led with 19 kills, four digs and two aces, while McKenna Miller had 12 kills.
“Great team effort tonight,” BYU coach Heather Olmstead said. “Everyone was ready to play and contributed when called upon. We had great energy and stayed focused the entire match.”
USD, also 15-1 in the WCC, is 22-4 after beating Santa Clara 25-15, 27-25, 25-12. The Toreros, who hit .351, got 12 kills from Lauren Fuller, 11 from Addie Picha and 10 from Jayden Kennedy.
Friday’s semifinals have second-seeded Binghamton vs. No. 3 New Hampshire, followed by top-seeded Albany against No. 4 Stony Brook. The final is Sunday.
Defending-champion Lipscomb, which had a rough regular season, swept North Florida, while FGCU did the same to USC Upstate. Now Lipscomb gets regular-season champ Kennesaw State, while FGCU gets Jacksonville. Carlyle Nusbaum led Lipscomb with 17 kills while hitting .552 in the 25-15, 25-12, 25-15 victory. FGCU won 25-16, 25-12, 25-21 as Snowy Burnam had 12 kills, three blocks and nine digs.
Action gets under way as Saint Louis plays George Washington and Rhode Island gets Duquesne. VCU and Dayton get the winners in Saturday’s semifinals.
The four top teams won on Thursday to move into the semifinals, which pits North Dakota against Idaho and league-winner Sacramento State against Portland State.
Sacramento State swept Idaho as Shannon Boyle had 16 kills and 15 digs and Mikaela Nocetti had 14 kills, nine digs and three blocks, one solo. Portland State beat Northern Arizona in four behind 15 kills and 14 digs from Toni Mcdougald. Idaho’s sweep of Idaho State saw Sarah Sharp get 17 kills. And UND got 13 kills each from Jordan Vail and Ashley Brueggeman and 11 from Faith Dooley, who had nine blocks — one solo — to become the all-time Big Sky blocks leader.
Towson faces James Madison in one semifinal while Hofstra gets College of Charleston in the other. Host Towson advanced with a tough five-set win over Elon as Bryn Recker had 22 kills, while JMU beat Northeastern as Amy Underdown had 25 kills and 17 digs.
Friday’s quarterfinals have Charlotte vs. Western Kentucky, Southern Miss vs. Rice, Florida Atlantic vs. UTSA and Marshall vs. North Texas.
Cleveland State and Oakland await the winners as the quarterfinals begin with IUPUI vs. Northern Kentucky and Green Bay vs. Illinois-Chicago.
Western Michigan ousted Central Michigan in five and Eastern Michigan eliminated Buffalo in four to set up Friday’s quarterfinals. EMU plays Ohio and WMU gets Ball State. Miami and Bowling Green are already in the semifinals.
Rachel Bontrager had 23 kills, hit .388, had 14 digs and two blocks, one solo for Western Michigan. EMU’s Jordan Smith led her team with 17 kills.
League leaders Fairfield and Niagara await the winners of Rider vs. Marist and Quinnipiac vs. Iona.
The semifinals pits Robert Morris against LIU Brooklyn and Central Connecticut State against Bryant.
Seventh-seeded EIU got everyone’s attention with a four-set win over No. 2 SIUE in the quarterfinals. It sets up EIU facing Murray State and Eastern Kentucky against Austin Peay.
In EIU’s win, Allie Hueston led with 13 kills. Murray State beat Jacksonville in four as Rachel Holthaus had 16 kills and Rachel Giustino had 15 kills and 10 digs. EKU beat Belmont in five as Cassie Knutson had 21 assists, 16 kills and 15 digs and Celina Sanks had 17 kills and 10 digs. And regular-season winner Austin Peay swept Southeast Missouri as Christina White had 14 kills.
One team will play twice as the tourney gets under way Friday with Mercer playing The Citadel. The winner advances to a later match against league-winner Furman. Also, UNC-Greensboro plays Chattanooga, Wofford faces Samford and East Tennessee State plays. Western Carolina.
The quarterfinals have Central Arkansas vs. McNeese, Sam Houston State vs. Texas A&M-CC, Houston Baptist vs. Northwestern State, and Stephen F. Austin vs. Abilene Christian.
Eighth-seeded Troy knocked out No. 5 South Alabama in five after winning the first two sets, losing the next two and winning 15-13 in the fifth. Savannah Moore and Logan Page had 17 kills each. Moore had eight blocks, five solo, and Page had five blocks. Now the Trojans play Arkansas State in one semifinal, while Louisiana faces Appalachian State in the other. App State advanced with a five-set win over Texas-Arlington as Courtney Sullivan had 12 kills.
League leaders Denver and Oral Roberts await for Saturday’s semifinals and things get going Friday with Omaha facing North Dakota State and South Dakota playing IPFW.
Top-seeded NM State plays CSU Bakersfield and Utah Valley gets No. 2 UTRGV in Friday’s semifinals after CSUB ousted Seattle U in three and Utah Valley beat Kansas City in four. Aleksandra Djordjevic led Bakersfield with 10 kills, 10 digs and four blocks, one solo. Utah Valley’s Madison Dennison had 17 kills, hit .500 and had five digs and seven blocks.